There’s much more to Ohio than farmland! Here are twenty interesting facts about the Buckeye State.
1 The state of Ohio actually receives its name from the Ohio River (rather than the other way around). The word "Ohio" is derived from the Iroquois word "Oyo," which means "great river."
2 Besides the "Buckeye State," Ohio has also been nicknamed the "Mother of Modern Presidents." This is because seven U.S. presidents have been native to Ohio. They include presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison, McKinley, Taft, and Harding.
3 Ohio's state flag is the only one to not be shaped as the traditional rectangle. Instead, it follows a swallowtail pattern.
4 The first electric traffic light was put into use in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. Funny enough, the first speeding ticket was issued to a private automobile driver in Ohio in 1904.
5 The first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, were founded in 1869.
6 The first American to orbit the earth was John Glenn, a senator from Ohio. In 1998, he also became the oldest man to go into outer space at 77 years old.
7 Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is also an Ohio native.
8 Ohio is home to both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Professional Football Hall of Fame. These attractions can be found in Cleveland and Canton respectively.
9 The state's first university was Ohio University, which was founded in 1804. It was also the first university in what was then known as the Northwest Territory.
10 Ohio's first permanent settlement, Marietta, was founded in 1788. It was named after Marie Antoinette of France.
11 Thomas A. Edison, one of the world’s most notable inventors, was from Milan, Ohio. He invented many commonplace items including the incandescent lamp, the phonograph, and one of the earliest motion picture cameras.
12 Cleveland, Ohio was the first city to incorporate electric lighting in 1879.
13 John Mercer Langston of Ohio is believed to have been the first African-American man elected into public office. He was elected clerk of Brownhelm, Ohio in 1854.
14 Ohio is home to both the largest basket and the largest cuckoo clock.
15 Famous Ohio natives include Steven Spielberg, Halle Berry, Toni Morrison, Dean Martin, Clark Gable, and Paul Newman.
16 Agriculture is the largest industry in Ohio, contributing $93 billion a year to the economy.
17 Ohio's state flower is the carnation and the state bird is the cardinal.
18 Ohio's official nickname, the "Buckeye State," comes from the number of buckeye trees that cover the state. The tree's nut is said to resemble the eye of a deer.
19 European explorers first came to Ohio in the 1670s and were led by French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier. At the time, numerous Native American tribes still inhabited the area.
20 Considered by many to be the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World," Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio is currently home to 16 roller coasters. This is the second-most in the world.